ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Pella Corp. says in a May 11 notice of removal that a man's state court lawsuit over windows and doors that were allegedly defective because they leaked belongs in federal court in Pennsylvania because he is seeking damages in excess of the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold and because complete diversity exists between the parties (Edward Melhem v. Pella Corp., et al., No. 18-cv-2007, E.D. Pa.).
AUSTIN, Texas - In a May 14 report and recommendation, a Texas magistrate judge found that an agreement that settled trademark infringement allegations is insufficient to confer prevailing party status because the parties to the settlement agreed only to submit the question of attorney fees to a Texas federal judge for resolution (Professional Liability Insurance Services Inc. v. U.S. Risk Inc., et al., No. 15-958, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81144).
DENVER - An arbitration agreement entered into by home owners and a solar power systems financing company controls a dispute over high-interest financing, a Colorado federal judge ruled May 14, staying the class proceedings between those parties (Jason Terlizzi, et al. v. Altitude Marketing, Inc., et al., No. 16-1712, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 807).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 14 denied an insured's motion to remand a suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of an insurer's refusal to pay for the theft of the insured's vehicle because diversity of citizenship exists and the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum amount of $75,000 (Jennifer Smith-Dickerson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. Inc., No. 18-189, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81085).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 14 found no facts to support causes of action asserted by a first-time homebuyer who alleged that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it improperly charged borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock fees, dismissing his claims with partial leave to amend (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81040).
CHICAGO - A disability insurer's denial of short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits was reasonable as the insurer undertook a thorough review of the claims for benefits, an Illinois federal judge said May 15 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Shirley Lacko v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 17-2100, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81117).
NEW YORK - The operator of an online media-monitoring service saw its petition for rehearing denied May 14, as the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declined without comment reconsideration of its finding that TVEyes Inc.'s service is not fair use and, thus, infringes Fox News Network LLC's copyrighted content (Fox News Network LLC v. TVEyes Inc., No. 15-3885, 2nd Cir.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A district court should reject a plaintiff's challenge to the constitutionality of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's church plan exemption because the exemption meets the requirements of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. government argues in a May 11 brief filed in a class action suit alleging that an employer's retirement plans do not qualify as church plans under ERISA (Donna Sheedy, et al. v. Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare Corp. et al., No. 16-1893, M.D. Fla.).
BALTIMORE - An illogical $5 million asbestos verdict finding defendants liable for negligently failing to warn but not the lower standard of strict liability failure to warn likely arose from jury instruction error and warrants a new trial, a Maryland appeals court held May 11 (Mack Trucks Inc., et al. v. Christopher Coates Sr., No. 2706 September Term 2016, Md. Sp. App.).
SEATTLE - A trial court judge's ruling awarding summary judgment to a developer's successor based on the statute of limitations was reversed May 14 by a Washington appeals panel that found that a condominium association's lawsuit under the Washington Condominium Act (WCA) was filed within the four-year statute of limitations because the declarant controlled the association until 2014 (Burien Town Square Condominium Association v. Burien Town Square Parcel 1 LLC, et al., No. 76502-7-I, Wash. App., 1st Div., 2018 Wash. App. LEXIS 1137).
HELENA, Mont. - A trial court didn't err when it found that a woman who sued a company performing background checks over the inclusion of obsolete information in checks carried out for potential employers failed to satisfy the element of superiority under Montana Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) in her motion for class certification, a divided Montana Supreme Court ruled May 15 (Nissa Ascencio, et al. v. Orion International Corp., No. DA 17-0353, Mont. Sup., 2018 MT 121).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A woman's causation expert, who is a medical doctor and an attorney, can testify in a personal injury action that the woman's car was not going fast enough in a fender-bender accident to cause the spinal injuries of the man whose car she hit, an Indiana federal magistrate judge held May 14 in finding the expert's methods reliable and his opinions helpful to the trier of fact (Greg Guthrie v. Lori Ann Hochstetler, No. 3:16-cv-473, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80620).
BOSTON - A federal judge on May 14 filed a certified question to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, asking whether the state's six-year statute of repose applies to an asbestos case, creating absolute immunity for a turbine generator manufacturer (June Stearns, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-13490, D. Mass.).
NEW YORK - A 12-year putative class action alleging antitrust violations in the form of price fixing for digital music concluded May 15 as a California federal judge approved a stipulation of dismissal reached by the music-purchasing plaintiffs and the record label defendants (In re Digital Music Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:06-md-01780, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a 70-page summary judgment issued May 15, a District of Columbia federal judge confirmed as constitutional the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's May 2016 "Deeming" and "User Fee" Rules, finding only one provision relating to in-store blending of pipe tobacco in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (Cigar Association of America Inc., et al. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 16-1460, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81101).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the second day in a row, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 granted mandamus to overturn decisions by the Eastern District of Texas, which denied requests for dismissal or transfer of patent infringement allegations for improper venue under the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1406(a) (In re: BigCommerce Inc., Nos. 18-120, -122, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12591).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that the insurer of homeowners and excess coverage policies issued to the parents of a college student convicted of killing another student has no duty to defend or indemnify against a wrongful death suit, finding that the exclusion for "any criminal act" bars coverage (Sharon D. Love v. Chartis Property Casualty Company, No. 17-1467, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12572).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Natural Resource Defense Council and six other groups on May 15 filed a petition in the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that would eliminate greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, sport utility vehicle and pickup trucks made from 2022 through 2025 (Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. n/a, D.C. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 14 declined review of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' affirmation of a commodity trader's conviction for violating the anti-spoofing provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and engaging in commodities fraud (Michael Coscia v. United States, No. 17-1099, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 14 declined review of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that claimants are not entitled to whistleblower awards in a Securities and Exchange Commission action because their claims were filed nearly two years after the 90-day deadline for submitting a claim (Mr. Charles M. Cerny, et al. v. United States Securities & Exchange Commission, No. 17-8372, U.S. Sup.).
MINNEAPOLIS - The first bellwether trial in the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation got under way on May 14 in Minnesota federal court (Louis Gareis, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-4187, D. Minn.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on May 15 said the state's Zoloft mass tort court correctly granted summary judgment in two cases after the plaintiffs' experts could not testify and said the plaintiffs cannot rely on documents or the testimony of opposing experts to prove inadequate warning (J.C., et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., No. 17-0282, W.Va. Sup., 2018 W. Va. LEXIS 402).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - After excluding expert testimony for lack of reliability and helpfulness, a Pennsylvania federal judge on May 10 awarded summary judgment to a ladder company and a big box retail chain in a personal injury action filed by a man who fell from a ladder (Benjamin White, et al. v. The Home Depot, Inc., et al., No. 5:17-cv-4174, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79694).
SAN FRANCISCO - Lyft Inc., an app-based taxi service, has deceived and violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting and changing fare practices, one driver alleges in his May 10 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Fernando Villasenor, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., et al., No. 18-2769, N.D. Calif.).